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Study of the minorities in Bulgaria

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The border line traces the difference and determines the identity of the ?imagined political community' which hides behind it, whatever its size or its cultural identity. Much more than the geographical facts or the legal institutions, the borders are markers of identities, instruments of cultural defense, which by their function of bulk-heading or opening, include or exclude whole fringes of the population. Since the fall of Communism, examples in support of this image in the European conflicts do not oppose the human States but ethnic or cultural groups.

History is proof that the identities of these groups are the product of sociological factors, or of social constructions which are related to historical circumstances, fluid configurations, that evolved according to the policies that led to their regard. This is why the question of the management of the minorities is a crucial factor of the question of the borders, in a continent and in scale with that of Bulgaria. In 1990, the main risk after the policy Bulgarization by force led by the Communists is that of a civil war between the populations that live in Bulgaria.

Yet, apart from problems mentioned above, the Bulgarian situation is nothing compared to tearing up of Yugoslavia. Why the strong tensions between minorities at the time of the fall of communism, ended and even armed conflict in Bulgaria? Bulgarian multicultural tradition, despite the terrible communist policy of assimilation (1) allowed a rapid restoration of rights (2) of the various minorities (3).

The significance of historical factors in the design of the Bulgarian nation state: What is the difference between the neighboring countries with real conflicts and people: it is the peculiarities of its "ethnic model" that draws its inspiration from the past. What elements of the long and short history of Bulgaria may explain this conception of the nation state? The conditions of birth of the Bulgarian nation and the strengthening of the national community under Ottoman rule mean that tensions seem to appear only to minorities during the communist period.

The union led to the Bulgarian strength: Lying at the crossroads of Asian and European civilizations, from the meeting of Mongolian and Thracian nomads was born this geographical entity which bears motto "unity is strength." According to numerous sources, the name of the country comes from the word "Bulgaria" which means mix in Turkish, because the Asian nomads spoke a language close to that of the Turkish language.

Thus, in the 1990s, the international community expected an explosion of Bulgaria; the multi-ethnicity was seen as a source of tension and instability, as well as a major obstacle to democratization. Yet in 1991, which broke out in Yugoslavia and the strategic choices of the new Bulgarian regime belie doomsday predictions by taking the tradition of peaceful cooperation. The dominant culture was of course the Bulgarian culture, who shared little in common with the main ethnic groups, Turks and Gypsies.

Tags: Communism, European conflicts, ethnic or cultural groups, European civilizations, Mongolian nomads, Bulgarian culture

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